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USDA Invests in Rural Critical Community Infrastructure for the City of Sacred Heart

Nikki Gillespie
Release Date

Street Repairs Will Benefit Nearly 500 People and Help the Community Thrive  

   ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 18, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development State Director for Minnesota Brad Finstad today announced a $1.7 million investment to improve critical infrastructure in the city of Sacred Heart.

   “Modern infrastructure is essential to the continued prosperity of any community,” Finstad said. “Under the leadership of USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to partnering with rural communities in building and modernizing facilities and creating jobs and educational opportunities.”

   The city of Sacred Heart will use a $1.7 million loan to rehabilitate and reconstruct city streets that were disturbed during water and storm sewer infrastructure construction funded by Rural Development in 2014, 2015 and 2017. This project will help restore the streets in order to convey traffic and provide storm water removal to protect existing property.

   Finstad’s announcement is in coordination with Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development LaVoy’s recent announcement that USDA is investing $394 million to improve critical community facilities, benefitting 1.6 million in 28 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico: Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont and West Virginia.

USDA is making the investments through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program.

Below are examples of projects being funded in other states:

  • The Morrison Community Hospital District in Illinois will use a $19.2 million loan to expand and renovate the local hospital to accommodate a new emergency services department, a mental health room, relocate the business and administrative offices, and add a surgical suite. Other improvements include remodeling the front entrance and lab services department, adding an elevator and replacing the roof.
  • The Hospital Development Company in Spencer, W.Va., will use a $20.3 million loan to modernize an emergency department and create an urgent care walk-in clinic. A medical office building will be built nearby to house primary care and specialty clinics. 
  • The city of Lakeland, Tenn., will use a $60 million loan to construct a high school and refinance middle school debt. Constructing the school will relieve classroom overcrowding.

  More than 100 types of projects are eligible for Community Facilities program funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less.

   Interested parties should contact their local USDA Rural Development area office for information about additional funding, application procedures and eligibility details. Also see the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program Guidance Book for Applicants, a detailed overview of the application process.

   Additional set-aside funding of $150 million in grants through USDA’s Community Facilities is also available for designated disaster areas. View the complete list of designated communities in Minnesota. Grant applications will be accepted on a continual basis until funds are exhausted and will be provided on a graduated scale; smaller communities with the lowest median household income are eligible for a higher proportion of grant funds. For application details and additional information, see page 47477 of the Sept. 10 Federal Register.  

   USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/mn.

   In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.

   To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).